NOAA Hurricane Hunter Aircraft to Embark on Gulf Coast Tour 

Public and Media Invited to Tour Aircraft

April 3, 2008

NOAA WP-3 Orion turboprop Hurricane Hunter aircraft.
NOAA WP-3 Orion turboprop Hurricane Hunter aircraft.

High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA hurricane experts will travel aboard a NOAA WP-3 Orion turboprop Hurricane Hunter aircraft in a five-day, five-city tour of the Gulf Coast beginning Apr. 14 to raise awareness of the hurricanes that can and have threatened the region.

Bill Read, the new director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center; Jack Beven, Ph.D., senior hurricane specialist; and Eric Blake, hurricane specialist, will join the crew and scientists when the aircraft visits Corpus Christi, Tex., Galveston, Tex., New Orleans, La., Apalachicola, Fla., and Ft. Myers, Fla. The public and media are invited to tour the aircraft and speak with the delegation.

“As we saw last year with Humberto, hurricanes can develop rather quickly close to our coastline,” said Read. "NOAA uses the hurricane awareness tour to get the message out to the communities that now is the time to prepare for a hurricane, rather than when a storm is at your doorstep."

"The tour brings middle school students to the aircraft to hear firsthand about the threat that hurricanes play in their lives,” said James McFadden, Ph.D., chief of programs at NOAA’s Aircraft Operations Center. “Every member of the crew feels a certain amount of pride in being a part of these missions.”

The team of NOAA experts will be joined by emergency management officials, non-profit organizations such as the American Red Cross, and various local National Weather Service forecast offices.

Satellite image of Hurricane Katrina.

High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)

The hurricane awareness tour has been conducted for more than 25 years, alternating between the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, and is followed by NOAA’s hurricane hazard education campaign during national Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 25 to 31. The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

Tour Schedule